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IASB Chairman continues to believe that investors need globally comparable financial information

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11 Jun 2014

IASB Chairman Hans Hoogervorst has reacted to statements that the opportunity for the adoption of IFRSs in the United States has been lost.

During a speech at an SEC conference in California last week, former SEC chairman Christopher Cox opined that IFRSs wouldn't be adopted in the United States anymore as the enthusiasm for IFRSs had noticeably receded. As part of the reason he made out that the IASB had been neglecting U.S. views by appearing at U.S. roundtables and meetings but rarely and, if doing so, being demonstrably aloof. Mr Cox claimed the IASB did not fully understand the way the FASB interacted with its stakeholders.

In a statement reacting to the speech, Mr Hoogervorst commented:

Former Chairman Cox has shifted his focus from a single set of high quality global standards to maintaining a national standard setter that is 'supple' when responding to domestic priorities and concerns. We continue to believe that investors are best served by high quality globally comparable information, and that includes US investors. As former Chairman Cox noted, US investors have trillions of dollars invested in entities reporting under IFRS. We never forget the importance of these stakeholders and are expanding our efforts to reach out and consult with them on all of our projects.

I believe that we are on the right track with leases, and have disagreed before with former Chairman Cox about this. Both the IASB and the FASB have reaffirmed the heart of our proposals – that lessees need to put this missing obligation on their balance sheet. This is what the SEC staff itself suggested in a 2005 report under Sarbanes-Oxley. At the same time, they cautioned that these reforms would be highly controversial and meet strong resistance. I’m sorry to say that they were right.

We are grateful to the IASB for allowing us to make Mr Hoogervorst's full statement available on IAS Plus. Mr Cox full speech is available on the conference website.

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